June 17, 2007 Subject:
Definitely worth a download
When I read Rosenberg's' Myth of the 20th Century, it was a chore. A long, boring unoriginal philosophy book written by a war criminal. I couldn't wait to finish it. When I read these memoirs, more properly, these meditations and notes written before the man was hanged, I couldn't put them down, figuratively speaking.
From Rosenberg's arrival in Munich as a refugee from Soviet Russia, right up to his imprisonment by the Allies, this makes fascinating reading. There are character portraits of almost all the Nazi leaders, by some one who really knew them. The mood of Germany after the first World War, and the desperation people felt when they were looking for a "savior" is vividly recounted.
Most poignant of all are the passages when he reflects on what went wrong and why. There is one point, immediately before the fall of Berlin when he is conferencing with Arthur Axmann and they wonder: Were did we go wrong? Was our idea always wrong, or did we just loose our way somewhere? Like a Trotskyite, he blames the failure of the revolution on the people were became powerful after the revolution, particularly Goebbels, Himmler and Bormann, for betraying its original ideal and leading it to ruin. He makes interesting observations on how Nazi Germany became a "theatreocracy" with things like the book burnings and the "Heils".
Significantly, he frankly admits, twice and in clear, unambiguous language, the reality of the Final Solution and what it was. However, he claims that this was all the work of Himmler and Heydrich, the extremists, and was not "true" National Socialism. Certainly, he says, the people who prepared the country ideologically for such a catastrophe can't be blamed.